Jan 31st, 2021
Starting at the age of 6 months you can introduce solids to your baby. This can mean feeding them purees or starting BLW and introducing whole foods in baby sized pieces right away.
This is such an exciting time in your baby’s first year and you will want to stock up on feeding essentials to make sure you have the right tools for your feeding journey. What are the best utensils to use though?
Here we break down what you should look for when buying spoons and forks for self feeding – Ones for Purees and Ones for more Solid Foods
When first starting out with solids you may choose to first feed purees to your little one. This can be an awesome way to introduce new flavors and textures during mealtimes while not having to worry about chewing or choking.
Having your little one use a self feeding baby spoon can be a huge mess though (mixing soft liquid food and uncoordinated hands can be a recipe for food everywhere) so look for some specific features in your baby spoon.
The first thing to look for in a self feeding baby spoon is the materials. Little hands are uncoordinated in the beginning, combine that with sensitive gums and you want to make sure you get a spoon that is soft and made of safe materials (it is going in their mouth after all).
Silicone is the #1 choice in a baby spoon with its flexibility. Silicone is also considered one of the safest materials to use in food and body contact situations as it is an inert material and wont harbor bacteria like other materials would.
Always make sure a product that says it is silicone is actually 100% silicone though as lots of manufacturers (especially products made overseas) will use fillers to cut costs. You can easily find this out by doing a simple pinch test.
Pinch/fold the item – It it turns white anywhere than it most likely has cheap plastic fillers in it – 100% silicone should not change color at all!
Here at Eztotz we use USA materials and manufacturers to ensure our products are the best and are 100% silicone. Our silicone spoons are BPA Free, Made of FDA Approved Materials, and Dishwasher/Boil safe.
Babies starting solids do not have a great pincer grasp established yet. The pincer grasp is their ability to pick up small items between their thumb and other finger.
Because of this, they cannot easily use the standard type of spoon an older baby or adult could, so you need to make sure any baby spoons you use are designed with this in mind.
Look for large chunky handles on a spoon, this will help your baby develop her pincer grasp and make it easier for her to maneuver the spoon.
Gagging can be a standard occurrence when you start solids with your baby. In fact the gag reflex is your little one’s way of protecting themselves from choking. This article has some great points in explaining gagging vs choking and when you should be worried vs what is a normal thing.
Even if its a normal thing, it can be pretty unsettling to see your baby gagging on new foods or even their utensils, so we recommend starting off with a utensil that helps to protect against accidental gagging.
To help stop gagging, look for a baby spoon that has a chokegaurd feature. This may not help with all gagging on the spoon, but it will cut out a lot of the accidental gags that may happen (think the same combination of uncoordinated hands and feeding themselves).
The last feature to look for in any spoons (and the one that really makes it a great self feeding baby spoon) is if it can pick up puree and actually get it to your baby’s mouth!
A standard spoon you would use is not going to cut it here. You need a spoon that will actually keep the puree on it so those unsteady baby hands can get the food to their mouth without a huge mess!
These types of spoons will have gripping features built into the head that use surface tension to keep the food on the spoon. These work awesome for those thinner purees and ever foods a little thicker like yogurt. Our little dipper spoons rock at this and each set has 2 spoons (1 that is for thinner foods, and 1 for thicker foods).
Once you want to move beyond purees (or if you go straight to more solid foods), you will want to look for utensils that are designed to pick up more “normal” foods vs purees. Here are some recommendations for what to look for.
Your baby still most likely does not have a great pincer grasp at this time, so holding normal think handles can be difficult for them. To help develop this pincer grasp and ensure they can use the baby spoon or fork well, we would recommend looking for a set with ergonomic large handles.
The large handle will make a huge difference and work wonders at developing an awesome pincer grasp. Look for shorter utensils as well, as these will be much easier for your little one to manage. Our Small Hand Utensils are perfect for this with their rounded handles.
Just like we mentioned before, gagging is a typical occurrence when you start solids. To help prevent accidental gagging with utensils, look for ones that have a chokeguard that prevents your little one from pushing their spoon or fork too far.
Because you are looking for utensils that will actually poke or hold food, you want to go for more firm materials that are not going to flex or bend when trying to grab food.
So instead of looking for silicone utensils, look for a rigid plastic or even metal tines/spoon bowl. If you are worried about your baby poking themselves with a fork, you can buy a plastic self feeding baby fork with more rounded tips (what our small hands utensils use).
As with all baby products you buy, always see who the manufacturer is, where they manufacture their products, and what they are made of/tested for.
There are so many sellers out there that are using cheap manufacturers in China to make the lowest cost product while using less than ideal materials.
These have been numerous instances of manufacturers saying their products are made of one thing when in reality cheap Chinese manufacturers are making them utilizing other materials or fillers.
At Eztotz we only use USA manufacturers for our baby products. All our materials are FDA Approved, BPA free and independently tested to make sure they comply with all safety standards.